I’ve been chatting over an interesting question with Aaron Koh, Social Media Consultant with Brandtology (and an alumnus of EastWest PR): do Analysts consider the social media space as another dimension for their research? For example, mentioned Aaron, “when I dealt with IDC for Enterprise IT clients, they spoke to vendors about the future of the technology. But what about getting the sentiment from the users?”
He raises an important question. Vendors and agencies that develop social media programmes want to ensure that they understand all the audiences which might be influenced by social media. Analyst relations professionals also want to understand how far they can use social media.
As Carter shows, there are less than 250 analysts on twitter, and fewer than 300 analyst blogs according to Barbara: there’s a big overlap between the two lists. Analysts whose work concerns social media are, of course, in that group. Depending on how you define analysts, there are at least 4,000 and perhaps 6,000 analysts. So one analyst out of every one or two dozen is using those social media.
While firms like IDC have little contact with end-user clients, those analysts do meet thousands and analysts at events and through their research work. As a result, our judgement is that, at the moment, most analysts are not using social media as a research method.